24 June 2014
Well, where to start? It has taken me a few days to reflect on everything that has happened in the past couple of weeks, not only just as the owner of a small business (River City Eatery has been wonderfully busy!), but as an active member of my community trying to convince city leaders and decision makers of our community who have the power to grasp the controversy of the pallet patio in a positive way to move the community forward. In all honesty, I’m exhausted, but energized at the same time because all of my passions, personal and professional, collided last week, and I have no doubt in my mind I could write an entire book on River City Eatery’s Pallet Patio story, and I’m not kidding either. So, maybe that’s just what I’ll have to do because it was all so exciting, so energizing and proved to be an eye opener for not only myself, but should prove to be a little bit of an eye opener for the community of Windom, and that is pretty cool.
Chapter 1: The Facts
Chapter 2: The Spirit of Community and Its Energy
Chapter 3: Setting a Precedence and Its Effect on Local Economy and Community
Chapter 4: Making Decisions and Not Making Decisions: Fear of the Unknown
Chapter 5: Promoting Positive Change through Action and Reaction
Chapter 6: Embracing Controversy to Progress and Move Forward
Chapter 7…well, you get the idea…
I’ve had my blogspot.com “New Post”open for 5 days now. Typing, deleting, leaving it for another time, coming back to the blank page, typing, deleting again. Why has this been one of the toughest posts to write and complete? I’m overwhelmed with thoughts, ideas, frustrations, excitements, and so much to reflect on. This isn’t about a Pallet Patio anymore—it’s so much more. Where do I even start?
So, now I’ve finally decided that the very first post to write regarding the Pallet Patio must be to thank everyone who has shown their support because you are the heroes in this story that I will tell in print someday. Wow. I’m grateful, blessed, humbled, excited and feel like the luckiest woman in the world to have such wonderful people both living in my community and not living in my community who are willing to stand up and say, “SAVE THE PALLET PATIO!” because you are the ones who see what I see in Windom-a freakin’ awesome place to live, work and play.
The energy from your support last week, the week before, even this week so far, heck since I opened River City Eatery, has been what gave me the courage to challenge the silly precedence the City of Windom was trying to set because River City Eatery is more than just a small business to me-it is my life, my dream, my passion, and that is worth fighting for.
I have given up time with my precious and patient son, my dedicated husband whose integrity is inspiring and gives our son a true role model of a decent man, my amazing mom who has been battling stage IV cancer, yet she still shows up at River City Eatery with her chemo attached at her waist to help however she can, thank you for your understanding and patience when I couldn’t give you what you needed from me because my priority has been chasing this crazy dream that I have to continue to struggle for. Thank you to my dad who continues to take pride in the work we have done to fix and endlessly maintain the brick and mortar of my dreams, my brother and sister-in-law, my friends who have been by my side encouraging me and helping any way they could to see this dream come to fruition, and my staff, my other family, you all play a vital role at River City Eatery and you all probably know more about me than you care to, and for that I thank you. You mean the world to me, each and every one of you.
I put every chip I had into the kitty, over 12 years in the making, in order to open River City Eatery because I believe with all my heart this is what I was put on this Earth to do. And holy cow, the foundation of my dream, River City Eatery, is strong with the support of not only my family and friends, but my community and the patrons of River City Eatery and that makes the 16-18 hour days, swollen feet, and sleepless nights worth it. To all of you who believe in River City Eatery, patronize River City Eatery, I cannot thank you enough for making my dream possible every single day. I’m astonished at how much support I had during this difficult time, Just on Facebook alone, the Save the Pallet Patio Event has reached over 4,000 people-that is what I call a strength in numbers! It is all these things that make River City Eatery such an amazing place, a place to be proud of community of Windom because you helped create it! This is what love, patience, hard work, dedication, and support from family, friends and a community can do, what power we all have to do good things!!
At the end of the Nuisance Board meeting, I may have lost a little bit of control of my emotions, the tears came unannounced. It was not because the Pallet Patio was officially considered a nuisance by the City of Windom, but because I was absolutely overwhelmed by support, and I really wish I could tell you just how much that means to me. You should be proud.
An African Proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I hate to say it folks, but the work mustn’t end here, we must continue to move forward, to stand up for what we believe in, to challenge silly presendences that hold our community back from creative and wonderful things that not only supply a positive community gathering place, but stimulates our rural economy. We can move this community forward together, but we must continue to be willing to listen to understand, engage in our community, and voice our legitimate concerns to our city leaders and decision makers because we are the experts in our community, and we should be heard.
This is where my story of my ceaseless passion and a City who has labeled it a nuisance begins, may the continuing chapters of my story remain positive, no matter who tries to cut me off at the knees.
Long live River City Eatery and the Pallet Patio!
“To seek, to thirst, to yearn, to meander…is, by nature, human. So, darlings, let’s journey forth, choosing contentment through the seeking and the finding, measuring any weariness on our shoulder against the greater truth that says we have it in us. Let us discover a strength, a certain resolve to have eyes to see beauty where we are told it can’t be found, and a bravery to reach deep into that pure, rich water of our soul and find the courage to let it spill out onto a world in need.”
-Sarah Dubbeldam, Editor-in-Chief, Darling Magazine
Posted by Mari Harries at 8:33 PM